Why Anxious Kids Need to Take Risk (and why helicopter parents need to let them!)

Maybe your daughter gets a little nervous just before school. Or your son backs out of joining soccer.

They have always been a little nervous around doing new things. Maybe they are sensitive to tags on their shirt, very bright light and never slept past 6:00 AM. Meanwhile, your friend’s kiddos are social butterflies and sleep in long enough to allow them to have their morning coffee. So what, right? Indeed.

They are sensitive. And that’s a beautiful thing. It just makes you worry…. A little. Unsure if they will handle life’s complexities. I commend you for being the parent that takes notice. Not all do. Having a sensitive nervous child means you need to be more on your game. You probably are a bit more

 

Maybe they are sensitive to tags on their shirt, very bright light and never slept past 6:00 AM. Meanwhile, your friend’s kiddos are social butterflies and sleep in long enough to allow them to have their morning coffee. So what, right? Indeed. They are sensitive. And that’s a beautiful thing. It just makes you worry…. A little. Unsure if they will handle life’s complexities. I commend you for being the parent that takes notice. Not all do. Having a sensitive nervous child means you need to be more on your game. You probably are a bit more

I commend you for being the parent that takes notice. Not all do. Having a sensitive nervous child means you need to be more on your game. You probably are a bit more helicoptery. Right? That’s okay too.

Your just keen to your child’s sensitivity and can probably anticipate when they might have a meltdown. However, it is important that we not get in their way of developing and part of developing is letting and encouraging them to take risk. While our sensitive kids need your keen eye for observation, as they grow, they also need

While our sensitive kids need your keen eye for observation, as they grow, they also need ,to sense your trust in them…that they are capable. We should encourage them to take risk and be willing to watch them fall. (And that’s the hard part) And most importantly be there to help them get back up. Take the swing, sing in the performance or simply learn to ride that bike! Take the risk! Encourage them to get back up and try again when they do fall or fail (or just feel like they did).

Sensitive kids are often overly hard on themselves. Just because your child is anxious and sensitive doesn’t mean they should stay in their comfort zone. Actually, with these

Actually, with these children it’s important to encourage them to take risk, obviously within reason, but to venture out into the world with scary anxious sensations and all. It’s crucial that they develop an inner self confidence that they can handle being scared. They need to know that they fall, they can get back up again. Be a role model for your child. Share your scary feelings…like how you did it anyway, and how you fell and got back up again. It’s important. Teaching our sensitive kids to take

It’s important. Teaching our sensitive kids to take risk, accept the scary feelings that come with the risk and doing it anyway is the best training for overcoming worry and anxiety. It’s like building a muscle or training for a sport. The more you train the better you get. And believe it or not, falling off that bike or missing that pitch and STILL getting back up—is even better. It teaches them that they can overcome obstacles. And life is full of them.

It’s like building a muscle or training for a sport. The more you train the better you get. And believe it or not, falling off that bike or missing that pitch and STILL getting back up—is even better. It teaches them that they can overcome obstacles. And life is full of them.

What NOT to Do on Your Anxious Child's First Day of School

What NOT to Do on Your Anxious Child's First Day of School

Find out here!

If you have a small child entering Preschool or Kindergarten and they are feeling a bit anxious-- just like in showbiz..as parents you must 'fake it 'til you make it'.

Your kids by now have learned to read your cues. You must put on a very confident and sturdy face for your child. If you appear to be nervous,they will think that something is wrong.

Read more: What NOT to Do on Your Anxious Child's First Day of School

10 Accommodations For Anxious Students In School (Part 2)

10 Accommodations For Anxious Students In School (Part 2)

Try these following accommodations for your anxious students.

Testing conditions

Extra time on tests is a nice accommodation to alleviate the pressure of timed tests for students with high-test anxiety.

Individualized testing in a separate room away from other students is a good accommodation for those students with high anxiety as they may become anxious when other students flip to the next page on a test and feel they are not performing as well. In addition, when other students turn their tests in it may signal to the anxious student that they are not performing well.

Multiple choice is often a good choice for the anxious test taker as well as tests involving word choices/word banks to avoid the anxious child going blank and getting caught up in tons of written material.

DO NOT place a clock/timer in front of an anxious child as this will heighten their anxiety.

Have ALL students hold on to their tests until the time is up to prevent other test takers, especially those anxious ones from feeling pressured and rushed.

Read more: 10 Accommodations For Anxious Students In School (Part 2)

What to Do When Your Anxiety Becomes Your Child’s Anxiety

What to Do When Your Anxiety Becomes Your Child’s Anxiety It has been a few weeks now that we have all been back to school. Your children and your family are now settling into a routine.

Maybe this new -year brought with it a new teacher, new class friends, new bus, different kind of homework?

Or maybe this year your child has to switch classes or navigate a locker?

Often these types of changes can heighten anxious feelings. It is important that you show confidence in your child being able to handle such changes. If they think -you think they cannot handle or “should” be afraid of the changes-, they will believe you and become more afraid.

While you may worry about whether or not their teacher is nice or if they got their locker open on the first shot-it’s better for them to see you appear confident in them, as they will read your queues and follow your lead.

Read more: What to Do When Your Anxiety Becomes Your Child’s Anxiety

Teach Your Child This 1 Anxiety Tool Before School Starts

Circle of Friends

I can remember vividly my best friend headed to school for the first time on the school bus. They told me, “next year that will be you”! As if I was supposed to be excited. Needless to say, I was not excited but terrified.

This is my earliest memory of anxiety. I was 3 years old. I cannot remember much from when I was 3 --but I remember that.

It is important to recognize your child’s anxiety. Allow them to express in words or pictures how they are feeling.

Most of the time they figure it out naturally but it is good to recognize and validate their feelings. Let them know that it is OK and normal to get a little scared about trying new things.

Read more: Teach Your Child This 1 Anxiety Tool Before School Starts